Planning a gift closet
What is a Gift Closet and Why Does It Help?
A gift closet is a space in your home (not necessarily a closet) that you stock with toys, household items, and other potential gifts that your purchase for future events. It saves both time (no last-minute trips to Target to buy gifts without being able to research prices) and money (don’t you HATE paying full price for anything?). Gift-giving doesn’t have to be expensive right?
Planning a Gift Closet
Make a list of anticipated annual events. Take an inventory of occasions for the next 12 months. Do your kids attend lots of birthday parties for friends at school? Need teacher appreciation gifts? Do you have a summer of baby showers? Housewarmings soon? Do you need to have extra items around the house for grandkids or visitors? By anticipating the recipient you can know if you need puzzles or gift baskets!
Grab a piece of paper (or an excel spreadsheet) and make the list. Who you need the item for, some items they would like, and how much you would like to spend on them. This will give you a good idea of what to keep in your stash!
Need some ideas? Check out Ten Things Frugal People Love!
Buy everything at least 50% off or under $10- including the gift wrap, bows, tissue paper, and other wrapping supplies. Most people are happy with items 20% or 30% off. But you aren’t like most people. You are frugal and scoff at a mere 25% discount.
You know that you can shop the toy clearance at Target in January and July for deep discounts. Things can be grabbed on end caps at drug stores. A Christmas coffee mug purchased after Christmas can be filled the next year with a $5 Starbucks gift card and it will still hold coffee. You know Amazon has a whole section of items at least 70% off.
You know that gift wrap, gift bags, and the ribbon is the cheapest right after December 25th. And you grab enough for the year. Some may be specifically “Christmas-y” but a big roll of generic red wrapping paper can be great for birthdays. In April with a big silver bow, it doesn’t look much like a holiday gift.
Find an organized, secure area to use and keep a list. Your gift closet doesn’t have to be a closet. It can be a drawer or bins. It can be a shelf (probably high up so the kiddos can’t get to it). Or you know those cabinets in your kitchen you can’t reach without a ladder? They work too.
You also need a keep a log of those items so you know what you have. You can grab that same spreadsheet or another piece of paper to track everything. That way if your gift closet is out of sight, the items won’t be forgotten.
Set an annual budget and when you reach it you are done shopping. I don’t want your spending to get out of control. If you have 15 parties to go to (think graduations, anniversaries, last-minute gifts, new neighbors, or kid gifts) you don’t need 30 items in your closet. So at the bottom of your wish list put a big number that is your annual budget. When you reach it, you are done shopping!
What Goes in a Gift Closet?
I know in A Frugal Chick’s Facebook Room I tend to mostly post items for kids’ parties but you have tons of events you attend during the year. Don’t forget teacher gifts, bridal showers, valentine’s day, hostess gifts, and thank you gifts. Some suggestions I would have for those would be journals, candles, fun writing utensils, and bath and body items. Other popular items would be coloring books, pencils, crayons, markers, gifts connected to pets (cat and dog people love cat and dog things), fun pens, and accessories!
Give yourself plenty of time before special occasions by creating your own gift closet.